CMO Impact
Proving Effectiveness with your C-Suite and Board

CIO CMO Crossroads

November 08, 2014


The CMO Club, CIO Magazine and EPAM developed this deep dive look into the CMO CIO Relationship and the ongoing challenges with C-suite responsibilities for roadmap ownership, budget and staffing when it comes to technology and new media.

The outcome of 200 CMOs and 200 CIOs surveys, as well as direct insights from CSuite Executives identified three crucial business intersections that — if not addressed jointly – can create significant hurdles in executing successful strategies.

  • Miscommunication harms the bottom line – It’s important for both the CIO and the CMO to realize that something as simple as language can be a barrier to further collaboration. Semantics matter.
  • Technology funding is a tug of war –CIOs and CMOs are both expecting more IT funding and manpower, but have fundamentally different expectations of how that money will be spent.
  • The omnichannel flashpoint is mobile – For some, dual claims of ownership over mobile strategies are creating significant conflicts while others are discovering profitable and new depths of collaboration. In the survey, 86% of CIOs claimed ownership with 76% of CMOs saying the same.

Throughout the white paper, this hurdles are addressed and concludes by mapping out three fundamental steps for CIOs and CMOs:

  1. Don’t assume you know what your business counterpart means. A product, a service, a platform, an application — all of these words have deeply different meanings for CIOs and CMOs.
  2. Embrace the infinite roadmap because omnichannel doesn’t have an expiration date. All executives are used to operating with different timelines. Yet, nothing in omnichannel is ever done – launch dates are a relic of the past, quickly being replaced by continuous innovation and agility.
  3. Replace your motto: not “Digital First” but “Digital Always.” The most advanced organizations in omnichannel planning assume customers can get online everywhere and are operating as “digital everywhere” entities.

Download the report to read more, but here is one of my favorite infographics that I found to be really eyeopening:  CIO CMO Common Terminology

This paper became the basis for a panel discussion with Cammie Dunaway, President and Global CMO of KidZania, myself and Jon Busman, CMO Initiative Lead at IBM at VentureBeat’s GrowthBeat. See the recap of that panel for real life examples of how Cammie has directly addressed these hurdles and found unique solutions to further her relationship with her CIO at KidZania.

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